Monday, February 27, 2012

See's Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love visiting the See's Candies stores! Not only do I get to pick out a little treat for myself, but everyone gets a free sample for just walking in the door. During my most recent visit, I picked up a bag of See's Semi-Sweet chocolate chips. At a price of $5.75 for a one pound bag, I really hoped they would be good. The back of the bag has a recipe for chocolate chip cookies as well as chocolate brownies. Each recipe calls for a full one pound of chocolate chips, so I halved the recipe (halved recipe is below). 
The See's chips themselves were about five times the size of a normal chocolate chip and tasted great on their own. The resulting cookie was chewy and tasted better the next day than warm from the oven. Because of the large size of the chips, some bites were super chocolatey while others (about half of the bites in the cookie) were without any chocolate. I absolutely would make this recipe again using normal sized chocolate chips in order to get a more even distribution of chocolate. I could taste the quality of the See's chocolate chips, but due to the cost, I would not use them for everyday baking. Check back soon for the See's Brownies using the remaining half of the chocolate chips!

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/8 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 bag of See's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (about 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream butter well until it is fluffy. Add the sugars and mix well. Mix in the egg. Gradually stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes until lightly golden brown.
Yields 18 cookies.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Au Bon Pain

Au Bon Pain has so many delicious breakfast items, but I finally had a chance to try their cookies for an afternoon snack. 

The day I visited, there were sugar, chocolate chip, English toffee, confetti (aka M&M), shortbread, and chocolate dipped shortbread cookies available. I debated between the English toffee and chocolate dipped shortbread. The shiny chocolate coating of the shortbread called to me! I should have selected the English toffee... The chocolate dipped portion was great (chocolate layer was very thick), but the plain shortbread section had more of a savory flavor. It actually tasted a little bit like cheese. Has anyone had a better experience and could recommend my next Au Bon Pain cookie?
Cookie prices range from $1.39 to $1.69. To find your closest Au Bon Pain, visit

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have you ever been to one of the Ghirardelli stores? They are divine! My grocery store recently started selling Ghirardelli chocolate chips, and I hoped the recipe on the back of the bag for chocolate chip cookies would be as good as the cookies in their bakery. They weren't but they were still really tasty. I brought these to work for a Friday treat, and they were all eaten by 9:30 in the morning! Normally most treats last through the afternoon, but not these. The cookies themselves were cakey and had plenty of chocolate. I used half milk chocolate chips and have semi-sweet chocolate chips for added flair. 

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/8 cup granulated sugar
3/8 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream butter well until it is fluffy. Add the sugars and mix well. Mix in the egg. Gradually stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes until lightly golden brown.
Yields 18 cookies.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chewy Chocolate-Oat Bars

I saw this recipe on Eat Better America, and it was the perfect use for 1/2 a remaining can of sweetened condensed milk. The recipe from the website is below. I used all purpose flour instead of whole wheat, used rolled oats instead of quick oats, and did not add the margarine or additional oats on the topping. As the name implies, these bars are very chewy, and there is plenty of chocolate. The recipe recommends waiting 1 1/2 hours before eating. They are definitely better when they have cooled for at least an hour, but they are still good when warm.

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons quick-cooking oats
2 teaspoons butter or margarine softened

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 8- or 9-inch square pan with cooking spray.
In 1-quart heavy saucepan, heat filling ingredients over low  heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
In large bowl, stir together flour, 1/2 cup oats, the baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In medium bowl, stir egg, brown sugar, oil and vanilla with fork until smooth; stir into flour mixture until blended. Reserve 1/2 cup dough in small bowl for topping.
Pat remaining dough in pan (if dough is sticky, spray fingers with cooking spray or dust with flour). Spread filling over dough. Add 2 tablespoons oats and the butter to reserved dough. Mix with pastry blender or fork until well mixed. Place small pieces of mixture evenly over filling.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden and firm. Cool completely, about 1 hour 30 minutes. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.
Yields 16 bars. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chocolate Frosting Cookies

Are you in need of a chocolate treat for Valentine's Day that's also really easy? I had some leftovers from a tub of Betty Crocker chocolate frosting and decided to experiment with frosting in a cookie. The resulting cookie is chewy and chocolatey. I put chocolate frosting on a few of the cookies, but it really wasn't needed. It did make for a great chocolate cookie sandwich, though. As a bonus, this cookie is so easy to make since there is no butter or sugar to measure.

1 cup chocolate frosting
1 egg white
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
With an electric mixer, beat the frosting for one minute. Next add the egg white and mix. Gradually add in the dry ingredients. 
Drop tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving to a wire rack.
Yields 12 cookies

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Paradise Bakery

Delicious sandwiches, muffins, and cookies!?!? What could be better? The Paradise Bakery I visited was in a mall, too! It's a good thing I ate after I went shopping, or I would have needed a bigger size.

So I could try as many cookies as possible, I selected several "chippers", which are two-three bite cookies. Here's what I tried:
Black and White- not the traditional New York City black and white cookie but rather a chocolate cookie with lots of white chocolate chunks- chewy and chocolatey
Oatmeal Chocolate- not a lot of oatmeal but just enough to make the cookie slighty chewy- buttery and soft- my favorite of the four I tried
White Chocolate Cranberry- just OK- the base and white chocolate were good, but the cranberries overpowered (were in too big pieces for the chipper)
Paradise Surprise- just a regular cookie with Oreo crumbs mixed in- nothing surprising or special

I will be back for another meal and more cookies (probably just black and white and oatmeal chocolate) soon! Cookies were $1.39 each (buy 3 get 1 free), and chippers were six for $1.45. For more details and to find your closest location, visit

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chocolate Andes Mint Cookies

I had half a bag of Andes baking chips left over from the holidays, and going through mint withdrawal, I whipped these ups. They turned out thick and chewy and had a strong mint flavor to satisfy my craving. 
I'm trying to decide if I like the chocolate/mint combination better than chocolate/peanut butter combinations. After today, I'm thinking chocolate and mint. What's your favorite?

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 large eggs
1 cup mint baking chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add peppermint extract and egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by well-rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until cookies are puffed and edges look crispy. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Yields 18 cookies.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Cravory- Part 2

I loved the first set of cookies I tried from The Cravory, so of course I had to try some more! I sampled four more flavors in a 2 Dozen Mix box ($48 plus shipping).

PB Overload- I have never seen Mr. Sleuth enjoy a peanut butter cookie more than this one. I also loved it since it was very gooey and chewy with chocolate pieces. This cookie did not have any of the graininess that some peanut butter cookies do.
The Cannibal- I was not expecting these cookies to have a coffee flavor. It was subtle, but it is definitely in every bite. It was a great take on a chocolate chip cookie with pieces of chocolate candy instead of standard chocolate chips.
Oreo Milkshake- This chunky, chewy cookie had malted milk bits and large pieces of Oreo cookies. I didn't really taste the "milkshake" part, but these cookies are great nonetheless.
Oatmeal Pear Fig- This was a super chewy cookie with tons of oatmeal and pieces of dried fig and pear. If pear wasn't in the name, I wouldn't even know it was in the cookie, though. I would still add this to my next box.
For more flavors and to create your own cookie, visit